EELC and Bergen SWAN enlarge Ramapo Mountain Area

How do you...The Eastern Environmental Law Center represented Bergen Save the Watershed Action Network (Bergen SWAN) in acquiring land to help prevent fragmentation of the Ramapo Valley County Reservation.  EELC has been assisting Bergen SWAN to preserve open space in Bergen County.

This acquisition is the first of several planned by The Land Conservancy within the Ramapo Mountain Conservation Area in Mahwah and Oakland.  The more than 4,000-acre Ramapo Valley County Reservation is Bergen County’s largest park. It is bordered by the state’s 4,268-acre Ramapo Mountain State Forest and the 4,044-acre Ringwood State Park.

Bergen County and the Bergen SWAN acquired an undeveloped piece of privately owned land, known as the Bascone property, to add to the publicly owned forest.  The purchase was made using $12,500 from the Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund and a $12,500 Green Acres grant to Bergen SWAN. The Land Conservancy of New Jersey negotiated the deal.  The deal for the wooded plot is west of Silver Lake and east of Stag Brook and was completed in December 2013.  A primitive road crosses a corner of the site and continues through the reservation and into New York.

The Land Conservancy is a non-profit trust dedicated to preserving and protecting land and water resources. It has preserved almost 20,000 acres and helped secure $229 million in county, state and federal grants for 89 municipalities in 13 counties.